Slocum in AtlantaPage address: http://sbs.mnsu.edu/government/faculty/Slocum/Slocum Travels/Slocum Atlanta.html
Atlanta, Georgia: 2006 SPSA
The Southern Political Science Association had planned originally to hold its 2006 conference in New Orleans for the third year in a four-year run. However, the damage to the New Orleans area from Hurricane Katrina forced a change in plans. The conference moved to Atlanta for 2006, and hopefully it will return to New Orleans in 2007. We stayed at the Hotel Intercontinental Buckhead, in a very lively and tony section of town. Buckhead is full of gleaming office towers and hotels, and upscale shopping, hotels, restaurants and entertainment.
I could not help but be struck by the enormous economic and social differences between south Atlanta and north Atlanta. I took this picture from the MARTA train riding northward from the Atlanta airport (Thurs. January 5). This was taken in south Atlanta, near the Oakland City (S3) station on MARTA's north-south line. To me, this picture suggests a neighborhood in severe and prolonged economic distress. Atlanta is also one of the most racially segregated of American cities.
A very different picture greets the eye in north Atlanta; I took this while riding southward to the airport on my return trip (Mon. January 9). Large and expensive-looking homes are widespread in north Atlanta and continue in northern Atlanta's suburbs, such as Dunwoody, Marietta and Kennesaw.
Another north Atlanta home, along the Mount Vernon Highway.
Buckhead is one of Atlanta's most affluent sections. My hotel, the Hotel Intercontinental Buckhead, is on the right, and gleaming, high-rise office towers and hotels are all around. The Buckhead district also has upscale restaurants, shopping and nightlife galore.
Another Buckhead view, a short walk from our hotel, and across Peachtree Avenue with its harrowing and seemingly nonstop traffic.
The Hotel Intercontinental Buckhead, 23 stories tall, is VERY posh. The lobby, hotel bar, appointments in the rooms and even the black marble bathrooms bespeak elegance and exude wealth for a clientele that probably expects nothing less. I have stayed at Hotel Intercontinentals in New Orleans and Berlin, Germany as well - and this one is more luxurious than both, by far.
Occasionally I can't resist the temptation to take an art photo, just for fun. This view is looking straight up the front face of the Hotel Intercontinental Buckhead.
The lobby of the Hotel Intercontinental Buckhead, looking toward the hotel bar, XO, on the left. Did I mention this hotel was upscale (some might say, 'swanky')?
I'm presenting my paper at the Southern Political Science Association conference, "Connecting the Past and the Present: Historical Realities and Current Political Trends in the South." Saturday, January 7, 2006.
This is the SPSA President's Reception, Friday evening, January 6. The reception was 'open bar' and had great food, including smoked salmon, spinach-filled crepes, fruits, vegetables and cheeses, and a variety of rich desserts.
Another evening, we enjoyed drinks at the Hotel Intercontinental's swanky bar, XO. Aged Cognacs are sometimes given the designation XO if aged long enough in the right conditions. At front are Brian and Amy, both graduate students at the University of Arkansas. At back are the usual suspects: myself and Andrew Dowdle (University of Arkansas) on the left, and Wayne Steger (DePaul University) on the right.
And when I say XO is swanky, I mean it!! This is the bar's striking array of cognacs, brandies and other spirits (top two shelves), with more selections below.
For lunch Thursday, January 5, I had great company: David Redlawsk, University of Iowa (right) and Andrew Dowdle, University of Arkansas (far right). We are eating at Mick's restaurant in Lenox Square Mall, a short walk from our hotel.
Atlanta from the air, on my return flight, Monday, January 9.
I stayed a couple of extra days in the Atlanta area, to visit friends and relatives. I also attended Sunday services at the First Baptist Church Atlanta, a Southern Baptist megachurch par excellence. For pictures and narrative from this visit, click here.
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